variegated meanings

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Shandol

Senior Member
Persian - پارسی
Hello there,
This helps us to realize the increasingly complicated meanings of boundaries and the fact that the same symbolising element may have variegated meanings for different people in different contexts.
Boundaries, Territory and Postmodernity - David Newman - 2013

Does the bold part work for you? If not, I'd like to know why!

variegated
adjective

[1.2] Marked by variety.
‘his variegated and amusing observations’
Lexico Dictionary

Thanks.

ADDED:
variegated adj. varied; marked with different colors.
- Botanists are still working to catalog the variegated species of the tropical rain forest.
Essential Words for the GRE
 
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  • grassy

    Senior Member
    Polish
    To me 'variegated' is mainly a gardening term.

    But then the title suggests it's a postmodernist text and postmodernist authors are known for using fancy language to talk about their ideas.
     

    Uncle Jack

    Senior Member
    British English
    To me 'variegated' is mainly a gardening term.
    Or botanical, as the example sentence quoted by the OP.

    Botanists are still working to catalog the variegated species of the tropical rain forest.
    It might be worth pointing out that if the term has been used correctly, this refers to several species, each of which is variegated (has more than one colour; or possibly, has more than one variant), as distinct from other species which are not variegated. It does not mean "the various species".

    From what little context we have in the David Newman quote, I suspect he means "different". While "variegated meanings" is fine, it would imply that each person (or possibly just some of them) sees several meanings within a single element, which makes "for different people in different contexts" sound out of place.

    A key test of whether or not "variegated" is a suitable term is whether you can apply it to the singular noun. If you can't, then "variegated" does not fit.
     
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